It was another rocky week for the Rockies, a microcosm of their season thus far. They won some games, but lost more. The pitching staff was solid at times, and suspect at others. Hitting became contagious, and then seemed non-existent. It was pretty much business as usual in a disappointing campaign for the Rockies, who are now 56 – 66, and two games away from last place.
So instead of rattling off another negative article questioning the Rockies front office, or a post criticizing their on field performance, I am going to contribute a much more uplifting tale. I want to tell you about an epic beer-league softball game I participated in on Wednesday night. My softball team played in a pulse-pounding, edge of your seat, wild and crazy, come-from-behind victory, and I want to share it with you.
Because this is a Rockies website, I am going to add a touch of purple. Instead of using the names of my teammates, because I realize you probably don’t give two craps about my softball team, I have substituted Rockies players that most closely depict my teammates. Our lineup is a little different than Jim Tracy’s. I bat Cargo 8th and Tulo 4th so we have two cleanup hitters.
This game was the semifinals of our competitive summer league. Similar to when the Rockies played the Diamondbacks in the NLCS. A win or go home, pressure packed situation, one round away from the World Series. With the season hanging in the balance, we were matched up against our arch nemesis – a very talented group of older fellas that have become our friendly rivals. Their pitcher went to the same high school as my entire team. Except he graduated in 1975, and I graduated in 2002. The old guard versus the new kids on the block, and two good teams that always play highly competitive games.
It was not competitive to start. Very similar to some Rockies offensive lulls this season, we couldn’t get the sticks going at first. Everyone in the lineup was retired their first time up, except for a triple from Dexter Fowler, and a single from Todd Helton. Pretty weak sauce considering we are playing slow pitch softball. Combine that with the fact that our ace, Jhoulys Chacin, struggled to find the zone early, and we were down 12 -0 after 3 and a half innings.
We finally got the offensive train on the tracks in the bottom of the fourth, and a massive rally ensued. Fowler hit a bomb that just got over the fence. Cargo had a bases clearing double. EY Jr., Nelson, and Tulo all had clutch, two-out RBI base hits. We hit around in the inning. It was now 12-11 and we had scratched our way back into the game.
But their big guns had reloaded, smacked a couple monster bombs, and scored six more runs over the course of the next couple innings.
Going into the bottom of the 7th, with only three outs left, we were down 18-11, facing another uphill climb. Without another crazy string of hits, you could chalk up our season.
Iannetta started the rally off with an infield single. EY Jr. ripped one down the line for a standup double, Iannetta to third. Nelson hit a seeing-eye ground ball, one run scored. Fowler tripled and two runs scored. Tulo finally squares one up and crushed a two run bomb. Now we are only down 18-16, with nobody out. Seth Smith hit a frozen rope down the line, and after their outfielder misses with a dive attempt, Smith rumbled around for an inside the parker that put us within one.
Wigginton lined out to right field to record the first out. But with Helton up next and Cargo after him, we were still in good shape. We just needed Helton to get on base to set the stage for a dramatic Cargo blast. Helton did his job and singled. With Cargo coming up we all expected him to walk off. I was coaching third and I felt the glorious dramatics coming. I was wrong. Cargo pounced on the first pitch, but popped it up to the shortstop. Noooooo! My stomach dropped. Our hopes of an amazing comeback seemed dashed.
Chacin, our pitcher, who is not known for his hitting, was now up. With only a runner on first and now two outs, it looked grim. Then, on the second pitch, Chacin cocked back and stroked an absolute laser to dead center field. In softball, there are four outfielders, and the ball perfectly spilt left center and right center. They took the wrong angle on the ball and it rolled to the fence. Chacin, also not known for his speed, was running as fast as he could. Helton scored easily from first. Chacin was rounding third when the ball hit the cut. There was no question in my mind that I was sending him. I waved him around with an exaggerated windmill arm motion and screamed in his ear, “GET ON YOUR HORSE!” He streaked for home. There was a play at the plate. SAFE! Unbelievable. A walk-off inside the park homerun from the most unlikely of sources. Chacin might have relinquished 18 runs, but he was the unequivocal hero of the game. An inside the park walk-off homerun by our pitcher after being down 12-0, and 18-11. An instant classic.
We mobbed Chacin at home and danced around like little school children. I jumped on top of the dogpile and yelled at the top of my lungs. The capacity crowd of about 37 spectators went nuts. My mom was in attendance for the first time in years and she almost had a heart attack. Multiple bystanders said it was the best softball game that they had ever seen. I would have to agree.
So anyway, I had a super compelling softball game last week, and the Rockies are not that compelling right now. Hopefully our thrilling victory will inspire some solid Rockies baseball down the stretch.
Hope you enjoyed the homage to my softball team. Championship game this Wednesday night. LETS DO IT!
Contact Zach Cohn at email@example.com.